Will I still watch the evening news or not? Will you, when news about Philippine politics is getting more sickening even at the threshold of a new year? Is it really worth our time and attention when apparently, the name of the game in the justice system is pakapalan ng mukha, and no bigwig is being put behind bars for drug-wreaking so many souls? Whatever happen to personal conscience when even those “guilty” can equally fabricate logical lies and emerge out from a querying body scratch-free, at least from legal punishment? I argue that Gloria’s cheating last election has a chain effect, wreaking effect, on leadership integrity in this country. If the Prez can lie, why can’t Undersecretaries?
The other equally appalling part, from a personal bias, is men all the time dominate those supposedly infernal tests that often turn into pajama parties to our dismay. Men, gray-haired men at the prime of their life and career now haunted by the very god they have been chasing and worshipping – the love of money. Men who are full of potentials but seem oblivious that at the fork of life and career is one deeper call with many names – wholeness, authenticity, spirituality, holiness, simplicity. They are more abstract than a Picasso painting, or invisible as the roots of trees. But they are the very foundation of a sturdy, life–giving political community. Gather all the megalomaniacs and let them lead this country and we’ll see the kind of fruits we will reap. We are already reaping rotten fruits!
I am not stain-free myself and a number of times I did fall. A number of times, I had reached out for the Light. That’s why I need Jesus. And fellowmen bold enough to ask what it means being men – career men, family men, celibate men, vulnerable men, or men of God. You know the beauty of a man’s soul if it touches yours. And you love being around them. Or simply miss having a good chat over a cup of coffee with them because they make simple, unconditional loving their life’s project.
From among the many, in my case, is an old friend I haven’t met for a long time and is now pastoring in Virginia. Bot, gifted with an incisive mind, an OT professor at Baptist seminary in Baguio is one I dearly miss these days. Our friendship dates back in 1997 when we were clinical students at Makati Med. As my classmate, my life has been an open book to him and his calm demeanor was so endearing to my fidgety spirit that time enthroning him as an older brother was as instinctive as a bee that snoops a nectar. He is the ear that listens, the mind that questions, and the heart that embraces. Bot, I could have lionized you much longer than this. You were those early affirmers of my gift to think and write, while modelling yourself for us in many excellent ways. But it is enough for me to say, and I am happy to say it that I have looked up to you as one model of what it means to journey as a man towards wholeness. I miss you, Brother!
To my readers, if you are blessed with a few good men, spread the word most importantly by imitating their courage and humility. They are flickering examples for this generation of lost men, of souls that need re-engineering.
Photo credit: Ehsan Khakbaz